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Wednesdays With Whitney

“I bought the low-fat cream cheese but "full fat" sour cream. The question I have regarding this "goof up" is how do I cut calories without flavor on some of my favorite recipes? IE, I bought the lower fat cream cheese, what other foods can I purchase that are low fat to reduce fats in my diet without adding other garbage (sugar) in or lose the flavor?”

Great question and a somewhat challenging one to answer at that. We have gone through such waves of high and low-fat diet trends over the last several decades. If you ask someone on the keto diet about fat, they say “go high”. If you ask someone who is eating for heart health, they might say they are working on reducing their saturated fat intake. If you ask someone following a Mediterranean way of eating, they might say they focus on “good fats”. Simply put—the response to this question will vary based on individual needs and preferences.

When it comes to recipes, they often call for small amounts of the “full fat” versions. It is worth checking out how much the recipe calls for, how much of a difference in calories/fat you are looking at when replacing with low or no fat versions and what your taste preferences are.

To replace the flavor lost when reducing fat content on products, companies will often increase the sugar and/or ingredients added.

We see this with dressings. The “lite” or low-fat versions often have higher sugar content. Being mindful of how products are marketed can be tricky, yet very important. It can be helpful to check the ingredient list and the actual fat content. Just because something is the “full fat” version, does not necessarily mean that is it high in fat.

If you choose to go for the lower fat options and are worried about the flavor that might be lost, spices and herbs are always a great way to add some zing to recipes. Citrus, seasonings and simple oil/vinegar marinades/dressings can go a long way.

Another of my go-to and most recommended tactics for decreasing calories and increasing nutrient intake would be to add more fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks. Most Americans are heavily lacking in the fruit and vegetable department. Where could you add an apple to your day, raw veggies, or a handful of berries? Adding fruits and vegetables is a fabulous way to get more fiber (who doesn’t want to keep things moving) into our diets and crank up the antioxidants (think vitamins and powerful nutrients). So, maybe you have a serving of full fat yogurt and top it with berries or a cucumber with full fat Ranch dressing dip.

With health in mind:

  • Keep in mind your individual needs and preferences.

  • Be mindful of the ingredient list and fat content.

  • Be cautious about what is replacing the lost fat.

  • Add beneficial fruits and vegetables to most meals and snacks

Keep the questions coming, see you next month!


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